Latest Nation headlines

The latest national news from The Boston Globe

Neb., Okla. sue Colo. over marijuana

The two states say Colorado’s growing array of state-regulated recreational drug shops is piping marijuana across state borders.

US companies assess a beachhead in Cuba

Companies are already developing strategies to introduce their products and services to the Cuban market.

US to sue N.Y. City over treatment of teen inmates at Rikers Island

Federal prosecutors are making clear their dissatisfaction with the city’s progress in reining in brutality by guards and improving conditions.

Review urges overhaul for Secret Service

The Secret Service needs to hire 85 agents and 200 uniformed officers to sufficiently perform its mission, according to a report released Thursday.

Nation’s shift on Cuba reveals generation gap

Anti-Castro ideologues are dying off, replaced by a generation more open to normalized relations with Cuba.

Woe Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

Reading, Pa. is embracing how its official Christmas tree draws comparisons to the scraggly sapling in ‘‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’’

Three killed as car plows into crowd leaving Christmas program at church

Pedestrians were filing out of a children’s Christmas program in California when a car sped around other vehicles at a red light and plowed into the crowd.

Former Alabama governor denied bail while awaiting appeal

Don E. Siegelman continues to appeal a prosecution that Republicans say exposed pervasive corruption in state government but Democrats regard as a case pursued for political retribution.

Two in ‘Slender Man’ case ruled fit for trial

Two Wisconsin girls accused of stabbing a classmate to please the fantasy character Slender Man are fit to stand trial, a judge ruled Thursday.

Afghan soldier who fled US training sent to Canada

One of three Afghan military officers detained after fleeing a US training exercise on Cape Cod to avoid returning to Afghanistan has been allowed to make a refugee claim in Canada.

SpaceX delays space station delivery until Jan.

A test firing of the rocket engines earlier this week did not go precisely as planned, officials said.

Slain German teen’s parents testify about ordeal

The parents of a German exchange student who was shot to death by a Montana man while trespassing in his garage told a judge their dreams are broken.

Sheriff to cede immigration-enforcement foothold in Arizona

The Maricopa County Sheriff‘s office is disbanding a squad that raided businesses and charged more than 700 immigrants with using fake or stolen IDs.

Reformers target traffic courts after Ferguson

Missouri’s attorney general said the state would sue 13 St. Louis suburbs, accusing them of ignoring a law that sets limits on revenue derived from traffic fines.

Transgender employees get new US protection

The Justice Department is now interpreting federal law to explicitly prohibit workplace discrimination against transgender people.

Death penalty sought in Jewish site shootings

A Kansas prosecutor will seek the death penalty against a white supremacist from Missouri who was ruled competent Thursday to face trial on charges of killing three people at two Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City.

Secret Service stretched thin, needs more agents, report says

The federal recommendations released Thursday come after a man with a knife stormed the White House this fall.

Study links child’s autism risk to mother’s exposure to air pollution

Women exposed to high levels of air pollution during their third trimester may be twice as likely to have an autistic child.

Three killed, several injured after car slams into crowd in Calif.

Pedestrians filing out of a church service were hit by a car that sped around other vehicles at a red light and plowed into the crowd.

Girls in ‘Slender Man’ stabbing found competent to stand trial

The girls are accused of attempted homicide for stabbing a classmate to please a fictional character.

Where communities have banned fracking

New York is the second state to ban the controversial practice used to extract natural gas from shale rock deep underground.

US sues NYC over Rikers Island violence on young inmates

Federal prosecutors want to speed the pace of reforms to address what an investigation found was a ‘‘deep-seated culture of violence.”

Obama and Vatican worked in secret to reach deal with Cuba

The restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba was brokered, in part, by the Holy See.

Freed American endured years of declining health

Alan Gross, 65, was freed from prison Wednesday as part of an agreement that included the release of three Cubans jailed in the United States.

A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

Six patients given blood-cell transplants similar to one that cured a man known as ‘‘the Berlin patient’’ have failed, and all six patients died.

Man convicted in German exchange student’s killing

The verdict came despite a defense argument that a ‘‘castle doctrine’’ law allowed him to use deadly force to protect his home and family.

Mitch McConnell wants to stop coal rules

Incoming Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell pledged on Wednesday to do all he can to stop President Obama’s coal plant regulations.

Republican wins Arizona House seat after recount

Republicans will have their largest U.S. House majority in 83 years when the new Congress convenes next month.

Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

The three men could have made it to land north of the Golden Gate Bridge if they left between 11 p.m. and midnight.

Colorado teen to get 10 years for killing father

EAGLE, Colo. — A 14-year-old Colorado boy will spend 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty to killing his father and trying to conceal the slaying for six days by keeping the body at home and telling the man’s employer he was sick.

Immigrants closer to driver’s licenses in Arizona

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rebuffed the governor’s latest attempt to deny them the privilege.

US-Cuba change prompts celebration in Havana

Havana residents gathered around television sets in homes, schools, and businesses to hear the historic national broadcast.

Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire

Colombia’s largest rebel group announced guerrillas will refrain from staging attacks so long as they aren’t targeted by the US-backed military.

Judge: Boy, 14, shouldn’t have been executed in SC

More than 70 years after South Carolina sent a 14-year-old black boy to the electric chair, a judge threw out the conviction.

US global aid chief to resign; oversaw secret Cuba programs

Rajiv Shah, the administrator for the US Agency for International Development, gave no public reason for leaving the agency he has led since 2009.

UN extends cross-border aid delivery to Syria for a year

The resolution expresses grave distress at the ‘‘devastating humanitarian situation’’ and the fact that 12.2 million Syrians require urgent assistance including medical aid.

North Korea had role in Sony hacking, US says

US officials say North Korea was “centrally involved” in the attack on Sony Pictures, but they’re unsure how to respond.

Federal investigators connect Sony hacking to North Korea

A US official said federal investigators have connected the Sony hacking incident to North Korea.

Johns Hopkins mistakenly welcomes wrong students

Johns Hopkins University sent welcome messages to nearly 300 applicants who were actually rejected or deferred, and the school has apologized.

US wins release of spy held for years in Cuba jail

The spy, whom American officials declined to name, has spent nearly 20 years in prison after he was caught.

Cuban exile community divided over Obama policy change

Some Cuban exiles in Miami are outraged, but others are elated that President Barack Obama secretly arranged prisoner exchanges.

Obama to restore relations with Cuba

The decision to end half a century of estrangement between the US and Cuba followed 18 months of secret talks, and the freeing of captives on both sides.

Murder conviction of 14-year-old executed in 1944 overturned

A judge said the state did a great injustice when it put George Stinney in the electric chair less than two months after he was convicted.

Live video: Alan Gross speaks after release

Alan Gross, who has returned to the US after a five-year imprisonment in Cuba, is making remarks.

Live video: Obama on policy shift toward Cuba

President Obama is speaking after the US and Cuba agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations.

US, Cuba agree to reestablish relations

President Obama announced the reestablishment of diplomatic relations and an easing in economic and travel restrictions.

Prisoner Alan Gross arrives in US after release from Cuba

At a press conference Wednesday, Gross said knowing he wasn’t forgotten was “crucial” to his survival in Cuba.

NYC premiere of ‘The Interview’ canceled as threats fly

The N.Y. premiere of the Seth Rogen film was canceled after a hacker group threatened moviegoers with violence.

Senate OK’s 4 Obama aides; 12 judicial picks likely to follow

Among the president’s nominees was Frank A. Rose of Plymouth as assistant secretary of state for verification and compliance.

Reporter’s testimony sought in leak trial, but not name of source

Prosecutors say they will not ask James Risen if ex-CIA man Jeffrey Sterling was his anonymous source for part of the 2006 book ‘‘State Of War.’’